Virginia’s Senators Should Join Bipartisan Leaders in Congress to Jumpstart Offshore Wind

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Tom Carper (D-Del) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) and U.S. Representatives Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) and Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.) today introduced bills in the U.S. Senate and House to incentivize offshore wind development. The bills would provide an Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind power worth up to 30 percent of the cost of the project for the first 3,000 megawatts of offshore wind projects in the United States. Eleven additional Senators are listed as original cosponsors: Chris Coons (D-Del), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Angus King (I-Maine), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), William "Mo" Cowan (D-Mass), Ben Cardin (D-Md) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).

“There is tremendous potential for producing clean, pollution-free wind energy off of our coasts, and harnessing this vast resource requires a strong and ongoing commitment from our state and federal leaders,” said Sarah Bucci, Federal Field Organizer for Environment Virginia. “We are excited to see renewed efforts in Congress to jumpstart the first offshore wind projects and urge our U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine and the rest of Virginia’s Congressional delegation to join the charge and help make the promise of offshore wind a reality.”

America’s Atlantic Coast has some of the best offshore wind energy resources in the world. But while offshore wind is thriving in Europe, and though officials in many states are working to advance offshore wind, no projects have yet been built off U.S. shores.

“In Virginia and states up and down the Atlantic Coast, the building blocks are being put into place to usher in a bright future for offshore wind. Continued support from a federal Investment Tax Credit would provide much-needed financial certainty for potential projects to move forward and start producing clean, renewable energy while creating new jobs,” continued Bucci.

Tapping into the power of offshore wind along the Atlantic Coast is vital to getting Virginia and the nation off fossil fuels. A report released by Environment America and the National Wildlife Federation shows that reaching the Department of Energy’s goal of 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power would reduce global warming pollution by the equivalent of taking nearly 18 million cars off the road. A 2010 National Renewable Energy Laboratory report found that Virginia had 94.4 GW of offshore wind resource within 50 nautical miles of the coast.

“We encourage Congress to quickly consider and pass this important legislation to help ensure that clean, renewable offshore wind in Virginia becomes a reality as soon as possible,” concluded Bucci.